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Copyright at Bryan College of Health Sciences: Bryan College of Health Sciences: Copyright and Fair Use Synopsis

Bryan College of Health Sciences: Copyright and Fair Use Synopsis

What are the rights of authors?  (based on Copyright Act of 1976, Section 106)‚Äč

  • Make copies
  • Create derivative works
  • Distribute works
  • Display and perform work publicly
  • Give others permission to exercise the author's rights 
Typical uses of others' works that might infringe on rights of authors, if done without permission/authority:
  • making and distributing copies of course-related educational materials
  • displaying and performing works in classrooms
  • digitizing archival holdings
  • including others' works in web pages
  • peer-to-peer file sharing of works


Fair Use

Fair Use

Fair use is an exemption on the exclusive rights of a copyright holder.  As discussed by numerous copyright legal scholars, the notion of "fair use" is not clearly defined.  It is up to the individual faculty member to make a critical and objective determination as to the fair use of any given work within a specific context.  

  • Not all educational use is "Fair Use"
  • Fair Use needs to be evaluated in each instance a work is used in an education setting unless it is covered by:
    • ownership
    • licensing
    • public domain
    • Creative Commons license covering use or modification 
  • ALWAYS provide a link to a work (when available) rather than uploading a PDF of the work
  • Have you actually made a COPY of the work?  If you are not sharing a tangible electronic file or scanned copy, you do not need to be concerned with the copyright status of the work

Ask yourself:  Would you be comfortable with your work being used in the way you are using the work of others? 

Fair Use and eReserves:
  • Faculty will be required to complete a Fair Use Checklist for each article requested to be put into eReserves if it is not covered by ownership, licensing, public domain or a Creative Commons license
  • The Library will make the determination if the Fair Use Checklist is required
  • If an article, covered by the Fair Use Checklist, is requested for eReserves use in subsequent semesters, the Fair Use Checklist must be completed with each repeated use
  • The Fair Use Checklist will be kept on file in the Library permantly
  • If a Fair Use determination cannot be made for a work, OR if publisher restrictions require it, permission will need to be requested for use of the work.
Fair Use and Canvas:
  • Faculty are responsible for complying with copyright and fair use guidelines for all articles made available through Canvas.
  • Remember: It is ALWAYS preferable to make a link to a work rather than uploading a PDF into Canvas.  Linking to an item indicates that it is covered by ownership, licensing or open access.
  • RightFind Academic can be used (on campus) to determine if a work is covered by the College's Annual Academic Copyright License.  Ask a librarian for more information about using this resource.

Respecting Copyright and the Fair Use practices of the Bryan College of Health Sciences is 

an Academic Integrity principle for the faculty and students of the College


This guide is not intended to be legal advice.  It is designed to provide general information about copyright to consider while researching and teaching. 

With thanks ...

This guide is adapted, with permission, from guides created by the Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives and Delgado Community College libraries.